Carlsbad Village Street Faire: Small businesses, attendees enjoy return of annual event

Local

After a year-and-a-half, the Carlsbad Village Street Faire was back in action Sunday.

The one-day event was in place of the annual May event, which was canceled due to COVID-19.   

“It’s outstanding, it’s like that was a long year to be locked up,” attendee Rick Kreysar said. 

Hosted by the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, the Carlsbad Village Street Faire is all about reconnecting with the community and bringing business to the area, which is especially important right now for pop-up businesses who rely on events to make money. 

“All the big events stopped, so we kind of had to adapt a little bit,” said Ray Brown, owner of Branch & Vine. 

Brown said it means everything to have big events return.   

“At the point now where we’re kind of almost back to 100% of the swing,” he said.

Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Bret Schanzenbach said Sunday’s street fair was smaller than usual as vendors were down about 25%.

“Our numbers are down partly because some of those businesses just didn’t make it,” he said. “A lot of the mom-and-pop industries that survive from going to street fair to street fair to street fair, they have a whole cycle of events they do. Unfortunately, some of them didn’t weather it.”   

However, crowds flocked to the event to support small businesses. 

“In the past before COVID, we would expect about 100 to 125,000, and right now, just looking at the numbers, we’re feeling pretty strong, like it’s pretty close to that,” Schanzenbach said. 

The event helps bring business to vendors and surrounding businesses.   

“I’ve had several of them point blank tell me it is their best business day of the year,” Schanzenbach said.   

Shawnta Fleming, the GM of Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream, says her business did “at least 10% more in sales.“

“The turn out has been wonderful,” said Trevor Smith, of Realtor Engel & Volkers. “The people are great and warm. They’re receiving to us, and I’m just excited to be back in public, like I’m a people person, I love seeing people.”

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